2012 ISU F.A.R.M On-Farm Research Reuslts

The report of the NW Iowa on-farm research projects conducted during 2012 is available on the web. Find it here. This report not only summarizes data from our original 3 counties in the NW corner of Iowa, it also has data from other counties across Iowa that have started to look at replicated, field length trials on farms. This past year there were 130+ different comparisons! You can also find the report from the 2011 and 2010 trials at this web page.

Livestock Manure Management in Minnesota

Rapid snow melt and potential for flooding pose challenges for manure management among the more than 25,000 livestock farms in Minnesota. Many farmers who spread solid manure during winter must ensure that it doesn’t run off with rapid snowmelt flowing to ditches, streams and other waters. Manure-contaminated runoff not only threatens water quality, it reduces the value of manure as a crop nutrient. If possible, farmers should refrain from spreading manure during periods of rapid melt.

New CME Hours

Less than a year after expanding the trading day from 17 to 21 hours per day, CME Group, Inc. reduced hours, after approval by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Beginning April 8, trading hours on the CBOT, KC and MGEX exchanges changed to the following:

Marcel Smits New Cargill Chief Financial Officer

In a press release yesterday via its home website, Cargill revealed that former Sara Lee execuive, Marcel Smits, is its new chief financial officer, effective as of April 15th.

USDA Prospective Plantings Report

Less than an hour past the 11:00 a.m. CST release of two of the largest USDA reports, we are seeing the three main grains taking big hits. The following is the USDA summary for prospective plantings:

Corn growers intend to plant 97.3 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2013, up slightly from last year and 6 percent higher than in 2011. If realized, this will represent the highest planted acreage in the United States since 1936 when an estimated 102 million acres were planted.

Smithfield to Break Off Operations?

Smithfield Foods, Inc, the nation's largest hog producer and processor is looking into the possibility of breaking off operations, according to a report by Reuters news service.

Monsanto and Pioneer Enter Licensing Agreement

For those who have been watching the Roundup Ready soybean patent lawsuit issues progress, you may remember last summer when a federal court ruled agriculture giant DuPont and its Pioneer subsidiary infringed on a Monsanto patent, consequently awarding Monsanto $1 billion in damage.

$1.7 billion reported in sales (AMPI)

In a press release March 25th, Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) revealed it delivered sales of $1.7 billion and earnings of $9.3 million in 2012, announced leaders of the milk marketing cooperative owned by 2,900 Upper Midwest dairy farmers. Some 350 voting delegates and guests are reviewing the company’s progress during their annual business meeting that concludes tomorrow at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bloomington, Minn.

MFU Thanks Farmers

Minnesota Farmers Union would like to thank farmers and ranchers for their hard work and dedication in honor of Minnesota Agriculture Week, March 17-23, which was proclaimed by Governor Mark Dayton. The designation is an effort to raise awareness of the positive and important contributions agriculture makes to Minnesota’s economy and its people.

“Farming and ranching is a vital part of Minnesota’s economy,” says Minnesota Farmers Union President Doug Peterson, “Farmers and ranchers are the original green energy. I am proud to stand for farmers in return for all they do for us.”

General Mills Third Quarter in the Green

General Mills Inc.'s (GIS) fiscal third-quarter earnings rose 1.8% as the maker of Cheerios cereal sold more products in its base business, as measured by weight, for the first time in two years, a sign the packaged-food industry is continuing its steady, but, slow improvement.

Excluding acquisitions like Brazilian food company Yoki Alimentos SA, General Mills sales rose 2%, including a one-percentage-point contribution from higher sales volume, a closely watched metric that had been down each quarter since the third quarter of 2011.